Some of You May Have Noticed that in My Headlines, I Capitalize the First Letter of Most Words.
In fact, I recently received a comment asking just that:
“Is there a reason for the seemingly Random Capitalization? Is it to make the reader stop and wonder why there is Suddenly Capitalization in the sentence, and thus Make it More Memorable?” -Kyle
Well Kyle, and fellow readers, yes there is a method to the madness
Notice in the heading to this article, I didn’t capitalize EVERY letter – only certain ones.
“Why Capitalize the First Letter of Each Word in a Headline?”
I capitalized the first word of the headline (grammar).
I then capitalized all the “Power words” or important words ” Capitalize, First, Letter, Each, Word.”
I leave out words like `a’, `the’, `of’, `to’, `on’, `in’ and`an’.
Why capitalize any words at all?
The thought here is that by capitalizing the “power words” of a headline, you’re subconciously prompting the reader to read each word with more focus than they would have normally. We’re trained to read capitalized words as the start of a sentence.
By making each ‘power word’ capitalized, you’re creating an impact at the start of each word. In their mind they’re registering each word as the begining of the sentence. We usually pay attention to the beginning of things.
Therefore, the theory is, by capitalizing the first letter in each ‘power word’ in a sentence of a headline, your message is creating more impact and being absorbed more readily than if you didn’t.
Why don’t you capitalize the other words?
If, and, the, etc – are there to make the sentence flow. We don’t really need people to absorb them, they’re only there so the sentence makes gramattical sense. Therefore we don’t need to impress those words onto the reader.
But Danielle, I’ve seen you capitalize “if’ ‘and’ and other words like that before!
Yes, and after a lot of testing, I found it to be fairly useless. In tests where I just capitalized “Power words”, the headlines performed much better than when I capitalized every letter.
That’s just one reason I felt it necessary to explain the subtle nuances in things as seemingly trivial as capitalizing the first letter of each word
Now Go Forth and Capitalize With Power!
Talk to you soon,
P.S. For those of you who missed my weekly critique, I promise it didn’t vanish – be on the look out for this week’s edition around Thursday, I just got so heavily swamped last week that I barely had time to tie my shoes!